The first consignment of 2 million barrels of crude oil from the UAE for India's strategic petroleum reserve at Mangalore is en-route to India and will help it deal with supply side disruptions, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said. The cargo is the first under an agreement between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for strategic needs.
The loading of approximately 2 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil was witnessed by Pradhan and Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said: "The UAE is the first country to invest in India's Strategic Reserves Programme. This important partnership will further strengthen the close energy cooperation that exists between India and the UAE and builds on the historic acquisition of a stake in the Lower Zakum offshore concession by Indian companies."
In February, ONGC Videsh Ltd and its partners had acquired a 10 per cent in the Lower Zakum offshore oilfield in Abu Dhabi for USD 600 million. "The strategic reserve will provide a boost to India's energy security and help us deal with supply side disruptions. While part of the stored oil will be used for commercial purposes by ADNOC, the major part will be purely for strategic purposes."
Al Jaber said that the strategic reserve project represents an important new energy partnership with India that leverages the UAE and ADNOC's expertise and oil resources. "With this partnership, new market opportunities will open up for ADNOC, as we not only help to ensure the energy security of the UAE's largest trading partner, but also gain greater access to one of the fastest-growing markets for high-quality crude oil. Our increased presence in India, will also catalyse demand for our own refined and petrochemical products," he said.
Indian energy demand is forecast by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to grow by more than any other country in the period to 2040, propelled by an economy that will grow to more than five-times its current size and by population growth that will make it the world's most populous country. India's energy consumption is expected to more than double by 2040, accounting for 25 per cent of the rise in global energy, and the largest absolute growth in oil consumption. India is 82 per cent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, eight per cent of which is supplied by the UAE.